(CLEVELAND, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced his support for legislation which would create a statewide Blue Alert system in Ohio to assist in cases where law enforcement have been injured or killed in the line of duty. Attorney General DeWine was joined at a news conference announcing the legislation by bill sponsor, State Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), and State Senator Tom Patton (R-Strongsville), whose son was a Cleveland Heights Police Officer who died in the line of duty in 2010.
"As Attorney General I am committed to doing everything in my power to enhance the safety of Ohio's law enforcement professionals and bring those who would do them harm to justice. That's why I'm supporting this bill to create a statewide Blue Alert system," said Attorney General DeWine.
A Blue Alert will assist law enforcement in the capture of an individual who has either seriously harmed or killed a law enforcement officer. Much like Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts, Blue Alerts utilize broadcast alert systems to relay information about the suspect to the public in a timely manner.
Thirteen other states have adopted Blue Alert systems, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The news conference was held at the old Cleveland Division of Police Third District Headquarters. The Third District was the district of Officer Wayne Leon, a Cleveland Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2000. Officer Leon's killer fled the scene and was later apprehended in Columbus, a situation that could have been aided by a Blue Alert system. Officer Leon's murder was the impetus for the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program, which is now operated under Attorney General DeWine.
– 30 –
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Testimony of Attorney General Mike DeWine before Senate Highways and Transportation Committee on December 14, 2011 (PDF)